The earliest formal English
gardens, that we know of today, were planted by the Roman conquerors
of Britain in the 1st Century AD at Fishbourne Palace in Sussex,
England. Fishbourne Palace was comprised of four spectacular
wings with colonnaded fronts, forming a square around a formal
garden. Built in 75-80 AD, this private residence was at one
time, about the same size as Buckingham Palace. Visitors to the
Palace would have entered through the gardens, therefore witnessing
the great wealth of its Roman owner, King Cogidubnus.
The neat and
orderly, geometric and symmetrically planned formal gardens boasted
hedges and pathways, surrounding expansive lawns, vegetable and
flower gardens, exotic ornamental and fruit tree displays, ponds,
fountains and statues. Following the style of the times, it was
a common practice to use hedges and gravel or stone-stepped pathways
to punctuate small niches, which would contain statues, urns
or garden seats. This style of garden encouraged residents and
guests to walk the gardens and enjoy the out of doors.
Palace is continually surprising us with new details of life
at that time. Not only famous for the reconstructed gardens,
the palace had mosaic floors in over 100 rooms, the largest collection
of in-situ mosaic floors in Britain, and about 25% of those survive
in some degree today. Three fragments were discovered outside
the palace boundaries leaving a suggestion that there may have
been part of a pathway outside as well.
necklace is reminiscent of a formal garden by beginning with
the trillion-shaped pendant as the central commanding focal point,
as would a pond, fountain or statue in the garden. The eye is
then lead up the necklace by the gem-embellished links that act
as the stepping-stones, leading the way to the closure. Three-dimensional
Peyote Stitch is used to create a bezel, and a raised triangular
shape, upon which the bezeled stone rests at center front. Suspended
from the focal point is another set stone that acts as a visual
balance to the pendant. Pathways of Peyote-stitched, gem-embellished
links comprise the rest of the necklace and lead to two gem-studded
toggles that become part of the closure. The links are embellished
with Sterling or Gold-filled set gemstones and/or CZ's.
Skill level: Advanced. The student
must be proficient at peyote stitch.